Standard Chartered, DBS and ANZ may pitch for RBS’ Indian Assets – With Royal Bank of Scotland anticipating $41 billion loss in 2008, international and regional banks have started eyeing its Asian assets. RBS is expected to sell parts or all of its Asian business. The bank is exploring options of selling entire product divisions, such as retail and investment banking, or portfolios like mortgage or credit cards. It may also sell various country operations, in some cases bundling them together. India is one of its largest retail markets in Asia and financial players such as Standard Chartered, DBS and ANZ, are likely to pitch for the Indian business. (The Economic Times)
Firms Promoted by Raju Demand Rs 1,230 Crore Repayment – A group of front firms promoted by the founder of Satyam Computer Services, B Ramalinga Raju, and his family, have demanded repayment of Rs 1,230 crore that they lent to the software firm. According to sources, about 36 firms had made the demand immediately after Raju’s confession on January 7. The matter is currently pending before the newly formed board. The firms, Pavitravati Greenfields, Vishnupadi Greenfields, Vindhya Greenfields and Narmada Greenfields, are owned or controlled by Ramalinga Raju and his family. (The Economic Times)
Rajesh Saxena Appointed as American Express CEO – American Express has announced the appointment of Rajesh Saxena as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for American Express Banking Corp (AEBC), India. Saxena will head the country executive team and directly manage the international consumer card and small business services, leading the company’s marketing, acquisition, product development and insurance areas. His position will be key to advancing and strengthening the company’s strategic focus in India. (The Hindu)
Chevron Keeps Options Open on RPL Stake – US based Chevron Corp.’s spending programme for 2009 has not factored in plans to exercise an option to raise its stake in Reliance Petroleum Ltd by 24%. If Chevron, decides to raise its stake in the company to 29% from the existing 5%, RPL would gain access to the oil company’s strong global distribution networks and ensure feedstock availability. Chevron has till June to exercise its option of increasing its stake in RPL. (LiveMint.com)
Vedanta and Indian Rayon Face I-T Notices – UK-based Vedanta Resources Plc and Aditya Birla group firm Indian Rayon will face a potential tax demand of around Rs 900 crore and Rs 45 crore, respectively, for their failure to deduct taxes on payments to buy Indian assets. The Income Tax (I-T) department has issued the notices under Section 201 of the Income Tax Act, which deals with consequences of failure to deduct or pay. Both Indian Rayon and Vedanta acquired stakes in Indian companies, and the department contends they should have deducted tax while making the payment to the seller. Indian Rayon paid $150 million to acquire 16.45% in Idea from US telecom giant AT&T in September 2005, and Vedanta paid $981 million to buy 51% in Sesa Goa from Japan’s Mitsui & Co in April 2007. The I-T department contends that Indian Rayon and Vedanta ought to have deducted tax since the sellers (AT&T and Mitsui respectively) have earned capital gains from selling their stake. Long-term capital gain tax attracts a rate of 20%. (Business Standard)
Balrampur Chini Mills Faces Prosecution for Fudging Funds – The ministry of corporate affairs has begun prosecuting directors of Kolkata-based Balrampur Chini Mills, India’s second-largest sugar company, for not complying with accounting standards and Schedule V1 (Section 211) of the Companies Act. The prosecution has been initiated after inspection under the Companies Act. The prosecution has been recommended against the company, its directors and auditors. Kolkata-based G P Agarwal and Co is auditor to the company. ministry has also directed to refer the matter to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to examine the auditors’ actions. (Business Standard)
Hotel Leelaventure May Hike Stake in Company – Nairs, the promoters of Hotel Leelaventure, the holding company for Leela Palaces & Resorts, are open to hiking their stake in the company. They currently hold a majority stake of 51.50%. This decision comes against the backdrop of ITC recently picking up 3% in Hotel Leelaventure through its investment arm, Russell Credit. ITC had picked 1,13,32,090 shares in Hotel Leelaventure. (DNA Money)
IDBI Bank Puts Home Fin Arm on Hold, to Merge It with Self – IDBI Bank is likely to merge its housing finance subsidiary, IDBI Homefinance, with itself after the board of the bank decided to indefinitely postpone the plan to sell the company. In its last board meeting held on January 23, the government nominee Arun Ramnathan had asked IDBI to defer its sale of IDBI Homefinance without citing any particular reason. IDBI Bank had short listed three bidders Dewan Housing Finance Company, Tata Capital and Religare for the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary and the board was to take a final call on selecting the winner in the January meeting. However, IDBI has now conveyed to the three short listed companies that the sale of IDBI Homefinance has been put on hold. (The Economic Times)
Tata Capital to Launch PE Business – Financial services firm Tata Capital is planning to launch private equity business by the end of first quarter of the next financial year. The PE business would be funded by Tata Capital’s own and third-party investments. The company is in talks with domestic and international players for third-party investments in the PE business. The first round of funding by the PE firm will be around 350-500 million dollar and the fund will invest across all sectors. The PE business would first look at the non-listed companies in the Tata ecosystem and divestment opportunities after that. (The Economic Times)
Xpro to Buy Out Ab Rani in Terxpro Films – Xpro India, a SK Birla group company, will buy out Finnish partner Ab Rani Plast Oy’s entire shareholding in Terxpro Films, the joint venture company, for an undisclosed amount. The Birlas will buy out the entire 67.6% stake of Ab Rani and its associate companies. Post-acquisition, Terxpro Films will become Xpro India’s wholly-owned subsidiary. Sources suggest that Birlas intend to restore the unlisted company back to former health by restructuring loans, liabilities as well as its capital. (The Economic Times)
BHEL to Enter Into JV with AECL and KEL – Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL) will set up a joint venture with Kerala Electrical (KEL) & Allied Engineering Company Ltd (AECL) for manufacturing products for railways and other industries. The JV will cater to core sectors like transportation, renewable energy and some other industries by manufacturing a specific range of products. (The Economic Times)
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